In this historic year, we are mapping our bold future

Chancellor's Messages

Dr. Rodney D. Bennett

In this historic year, we are mapping our bold future

This year we are celebrating how far we’ve come as a university in our first 150 years since our charter on February 15, 1869. Admittedly as a student of history in general and our university’s in particular, I am enthralled by the opportunity to examine our proud and ambitious past. Even so, I am doubly invigorated by our vision for the future.

That vision, announced last month at our State of the University address, is a clarion call for us to be a transformative, world-leading, 21st century mission-integrated, land-grant university without walls.

Specifically, we aim to have in place by 2025:

  • Experiential cohort-based interdisciplinary learning for nearly 29,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with an incoming first-year class of 6,500 eager students unimpeded by financial accessibility under a new tuition model.
  • A research and creative activity enterprise approaching $450 million prioritized and resource-enhanced around deepening commitment to solve Wicked Problems and Challenges important to Nebraska. It will be an enterprise seamlessly tied to every student’s education experience.
  • A completely integrated engagement mission as a Carnegie Community Engagement-designated leading university, where every community across Nebraska is viewed as a key part of the university’s extended campus and engagement is a fundamental part of every UNL community member’s ethos.
  • We will be a place where every person and every interaction matters and our university community will have deep appreciation for diversity, inclusive excellence, and the contributions of each individual – faculty, staff and student – to the greater good.
  • University operations and infrastructure dynamically aligned and optimized without walls in support of the transformative integrated three-part mission, with policies and programs that ensure UNL continues to be the best place to work in higher education.

This vision defines where we want to be as a university in the future. If this were the plan for an expedition, at this point it would mean we have selected our destination. Now comes the work of mapping a route to get there and making strategic choices about transportation and supplies.

During our upcoming Charter Week, I will be drawing together an “N150 Strategy Team” to roll up their sleeves to develop the initial five-year implementation of the N150 Vision. I will ask the team to draft a “N|2025 Strategy Blueprint” by August 15th for broad vetting across the campus in the fall semester to enable the 2020-2025 plan to be implemented January 1, 2020.

We know who and where we want to be. Now – together – it is time to determine how to get there. I sense that the UNL community is extraordinarily eager for the challenge. In Our Grit, Our Glory!